Sunday, 13 February 2011

FIT for purpose?

This week, the UK’s Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announced a comprehensive review of the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) scheme “following growing evidence that large-scale solar farms could soak up money intended to help homes, communities and small businesses generate their own electricity.”
Feed-in-tariff system (inherited from the previous Labour government), is a curious affair, particularly if one considers that the primary goal of such instruments is arguably incentivising the installation of renewable technology that will produce the greatest amount of clean, low-carbon power at the lowest possible price. Under the current arrangements the greater the capacity installed for any one project, the lower the feed-in-tariff. Furthermore, photovoltaic systems get preferential subsidies to wind turbines, particularly at the higher end of the scale in terms of generating capacity. A 5MW solar farm would, in the first year of the scheme, receive 29.3p/kWh over a 25 year period, while a 5MW wind farm would be receiving just 4.5p/kWh over a 20 year period. The scheme has GBP360m allocated to it, making it something of a zero-sum game for the various technologies positioned to take advantage of it.

full article

No comments: